Image: Kane Oosty/FIFA

England v Sweden | Match for Bronze 2019

FIFA Women's World Cup | Stade de Nice

After goals by Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson in the first half and a heroic defense effort in the second half, Sweden won a historic bronze.

The national manager Peter Gerhardsson made two changes to the starting line compared to the semi-finals against the Netherlands. Previously suspended Fridolina Rolfö was again in the starting line and Nathalie Björn started the match instead of Elin Rubenson.

“It’s a huge difference between winning a bronze medal and ending up fourth. It’s more about the way we won this match. There were so many good performances, incredible moments. I thought it was very important to win this match.”
Peter Gerhardsson, Sweden Coach

Sweden put high pressure on England from the start. England was stressed and knocked off many passages. Sweden was both hunger and more resolute in the close game game. It gave results quickly. In 10 minutes, Fridolina Rolfö beats a post from the left. A failed cleanup from English defenders was picked up by Kosovar Asslani. Kosovars finished distinctly in the goalkeeper’s left corner. Well-earned 1-0 to Sweden.

In the 15th minute Sweden gets the next big opportunity after a deep ball to Sofia Jakobsson. Jakobsson broke into the track and finished but the English goalkeeper saved the ball out to a corner.

“I’m so proud of everybody in this team. We’ve been living in the present ever since we arrived in France. I know what the team has in their hearts and their heads. In this game we wanted to come out as winners. We gave everything today. We fought for this win, and I think we deserved it. We are a family and we find energy in everything we do together.”
Sofia Jakobsson, Visa Player of the Match

After 20 minutes of play, Sweden had over 60% of the ball possession and held the match. In the 21st minute Sweden makes 2-0 after fine interaction between Sofia Jakobsson and Stina Blackstenius. Sofia Jakobsson breaks into the penalty area and screws in the ball ice-cold in the goalkeeper’s far corner.

In connection with the goal, Fridolina Rolfö is injured. Lina Hurtig replaces her.

After the goal and the injury, England got more ball and worked their way into the match. In the 30th minute, Fran Kirby gets a pass in depth to get past the Swedish defense and finish clinically. Easily accessible to Hedvig Lindahl.

In the 33 minute, England make 2-2 through Ellen White. But the goal is correctly judged for hand. Towards the end of the half, both England and Sweden got two good positions. Stina Blackstenius ran through overtime but her finish went over goals. Just before the half-time vision, England’s Ellen White got a free position, but Hedvig Lindahl stepped down with a good pairing. Sweden goes to rest after a far-filled half full of chances.

“I have great hope and ambition for the next three, four, five years for my set of players and those that are coming through the system. It’s an exciting time. Without the investment and support from the FA, we wouldn’t have got to where we are today. The support has to keep coming and we’ll keep seeing the benefits.”
Phil Neville, England Coach

After a few minutes in the beginning of the second half, England takes over the game more and more. Sweden defended itself well and England had difficulty getting to any dangerous locations.

After holding at mid-level in the 65th minute by Lina Hurtig, Julia Zigiotti Olme came to a good finish but the finish ended unfortunately in the middle of goal and the English goalkeeper could easily save.

In the 70th match minute, Sweden makes a change when Nathalie Björn steps off Amanda Ilestedt replaces. Sweden gets tired in the middle of the second half but continues to defend itself well. Sweden stands out on a few occasions and Sofia Jakobsson comes to a couple of good post modes.

“I think those two goals really did cost us, but we showed our resilience and a lot of character after those goals and in the second half. We had some chances and we gave everything in that game – there’s not one person who didn’t give everything.”
Ellen White, England forward

At the end of the match, England’s pressure on the Swedish goal is compact. England creates half chances and gets a series of corners. In the 89th minute, England comes to a close in the penalty area after a hatch out of Hedvig Lindahl. The shot was on target but Nilla Fischer saved a nick on the finish line.

Team Captain Caroline Seger, who made her 200th international match in the bronze match, summed up her feelings in TV4:
“It can’t get any better. Fantastic again. Congratulations Sweden”

Sweden wins the World Cup bronze for the third time in history.